Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Colossian Forum Conference

This past weekend, I was at Garrett Theological Seminary on the beautiful grounds of Northwestern University in Chicago.

The occasion was a conference titled "Re-Imagining the Intersection of Evolution and the Fall," hosted by the Colossian Forum. Big name speakers at the conference included Jamie Smith, Bill Cavanaugh, Aaron Riches, J. Richard Middleton and Celia Deane-Drummond, as well as Peter Harrison, former Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford. It was good to catch up / meet each of these colleagues whose work I value greatly for one reason or another.  

My paper was titled " Reforming Natural Theology: Christocentrism and Evolutionary Theological Anthropology" and the abstract is as follows:
The christocentric turn in contemporary theology should be more coherent with the historical enterprise of natural theology. However, natural theology needs to be further developed in order to take sin into an account of human nature so that the means of our salvation and the paradoxical, created order constitute a seamless theological narrative. I argue that Augustine’s account of the sinful consequences of natural human predispositions can be correlated with contemporary research on the evolutionary reasons for a large range of human behaviour. Natural theology ought to reflect on the soteriological question that is built into the paradox of being human. Augustine better judges this task than Karl Barth owing to the latter's rejection of natural theology. Complementary to a theology of atonement, natural theology anticipates the sinful conditions that necessitate salvation by not only describing sin but also partly explaining its natural origins.

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